OU involved in tourism effort

Wednesday, July 19th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- The University of Oklahoma is getting involved in promoting travel into areas of the state are scenic and less visited. Officials of the state Tourism and Recreation Department, the state Transportation Department and the university introduced the "Oklahoma Scenic Byways Program" on Tuesday.

The goal is to promote Oklahoma, preserve state resources and enhance economic development. "This program will help direct residents and out-of-state travelers to some of the less frequented treasures that make Oklahoma unique," said Tourism Secretary Jane Jayroe.

OU will coordinate the program. In its first year the program will have two demonstration projects with the Talimena Scenic Drivein LeFlore County representing a scenic byway and Route 66 representing an All-American Road. Scenic byways are roads that provide relaxation and are enjoyable for travelers. They may have one or more of six intrinsicqualities: scenic, historic, recreational, cultural, archaeological and natural. All-American roads are those that are considered in a class by themselves with attractions, special events or recreational activities drawing large numbers of visitors.

OU's Center for Business and Economic Development and the OU Graduate School of Landscape Architecture developed the program, which was presented to the state. The program is expected to increase the number of tourists and tourism generated dollars in Oklahoma.

An Oklahoma Scenic Byways Advisory Council has been created with a number of agencies and companies involved. Nominations for other scenic routes will open for applications July 1, 2001.